Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Kathy's back dinner

Whole family home again. Cooked a quick chicken kofta masala:
Made this up as went along. Couple of mishaps - discovered I was out of garam masala; didn't have the specific curry I'd have normally reached for; on the other hand - had some miscellaneous spices left over from a recent vaguely Mexican dinner (smoked paprika and ancho chile) that I decided to throw in. The substitutions worked out fine.
I used 2.5 lbs of skinless/boneless chicken thighs, stripped off the obvious excess fat, ground once with grinder attachment to KitchenAid using fine blade.
Grated fresh breadcrumbs with stale leftover sesame seed ficelle - about 1/2 loaf. Processed breadcrumbs with 1 large clove fresh garlic and a goodly quantity of fresh-grated ginger. Not sure how much - the piece cost me 40 cents before peeling and grating. Mixed in about the leftover mexican dinner spices - 2 teaspoons of smoked spanish paprika, and 1 teaspoon of freshly ground dried ancho chile. Added about 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper and a rounded teaspoon of Balti seasoning mix (Penzey's).
Incorporated the breadcrumb mixture with the ground chicken and added about ~3 tablespoons heavy cream and two (jumbo) eggs. Corrected moisture level with besan flour to proper kofta consistency (?3-4 tablespoons?).
Formed koftas and fried over medium heat in a heavy cast iron pan moistened with olive oil (could have used any decent oil or ghee instead).
Meanwhile made a creamy tomato sauce:
Butter (or ghee), 2 large onions diced, 2 large yellow peppers, sliced and slices halved.
1 large can Muir Glen Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes, a large splash (1/4 jar) of whatever fairly neutral brand of spaghetti sauce is kicking around open (in this case it was Newman's Marinara). Balti seasoning mix, salt, and sour cream to taste.

Saute onions in butter (ghee) until they start to become translucent. Spread onions to outside of pan, exposing center. Add Balti mix to pan and toast until it starts to darken a bit then incorporate with sauteed onions and redistribute throughout pan. Add peppers and saute until they just start to soften. Add Muir Glen and other tomato product. Mix, correct seasoning, mix in sour cream, and cook down to desired consistency. Add koftas for last minute or two - do not mix to incorporate - it's better if the koftas are not sauced all over. If you've fried them properly, they will have dark crunchy surfaces that you don't want to soften with the sauce. The interior texture should be soft and light - much as you'd expect from a good veg kofta.
Serve over rice. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander (cilantro).

Accompanied by: Willm Pinot Gris - off dry. I'd rather have served an Alsatian Gewurztraminer, but this wine worked well.

Children, by the way, will eat this if you avoid making it too hot. Secondo is a picky eater and he cleaned his plate.

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